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Judge dismisses Trump lawsuit aiming to block House from getting tax returns

Trump sues to block release of tax returns

Washington — A federal judge has dismissed President Trump's lawsuit against the New York attorney general and House Ways and Means Committee, adding to the president's recent court losses in his fight to keep his tax returns under wraps. 

U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols in Washington issued a ruling on Monday, determining the federal court in D.C. does not have jurisdiction over the matter.

"Based on the current allegations, Mr. Trump has not met his burden of establishing personal jurisdiction over either of the New York defendants," Nichols wrote. "The court therefore need not reach the question of proper venue. Accordingly, the New York defendants' motion to dismiss is granted, and Mr. Trump's amended complaint is dismissed without prejudice to them."

The lawsuit centered on a recently adopted New York state law allowing congressional committees to request the state tax returns of the president, vice president, New York members of Congress and other public officials. The Ways and Means Committee has not formally requested the president's New York returns, but Mr. Trump's legal team filed sued preemptively in July to block the committee from obtaining them.

"We have said all along that this lawsuit should be dismissed and we are pleased with the court's conclusion," New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. "The TRUST Act is an important tool that will ensure accountability to millions of Americans who deserve to know the truth. We have never doubted that this law was legal, which is why we vigorously defended it from the start and will continue to do so."

Last week, a federal appeals panel ruled the president's accounting firm must hand over its records to Manhattan prosecutors. The president's legal team is asking the Supreme Court to take up that case

During the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump said he would release his tax returns as president, but has declined to do so ever since. 

The president's latest defeat in his fight to keep his tax returns secret comes amid a particularly trying week for the White House, with the first week of public impeachment hearings scheduled for Wednesday and Friday. 

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